Tis the Season

We are heading to the US for the holidays tomorrow. But the thought of a long day of travel makes me tired just sitting here. We’ve done a lot this year and sometimes it’s felt like we’re always on the move. I wonder what 2020 will bring us. Perhaps more time between trips in the future. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see our families and friends. We live very far away and it will be great to hug them and speak in person to catch up. Cookie decorating get-together’s and holiday parties are on the agenda. I’m sure a hot-toddy or two.

And it’s only two weeks until we see Emilie’s smiling face as she exits baggage claim at the Portland airport. We’ve had fun shopping for her stocking stuffers here, including little surprises and her Spanish favorites. But, shhh, don’t tell her! And Jeff will reprise his role as Jingle Bells – The Christmas Elf in full costume for the final time before Em turns 18. Its hard to believe we’ll celebrate her birthday, turning into a full fledged adult this trip.

Perhaps I’m evolving, but this time I’m only bringing one checked bag and most of it will be filled with Christmas presents. I just weighed it and it’s only 33 lbs. I have 18 lbs of space left and on the way back to Valencia, if I don’t go crazy shopping in the US, I could rent it out like a studio apartment. Jeff laughed when I told him.

‘I feel the same way. I don’t have enough to fill my checked bag.’ His weighs only 25 lbs., including his Jingle Bells costume.

I keep looking around and opening closets and drawers. I must be forgetting something. But I can’t find anything. Are we really packing this lite? But then I remember. We have curbed our consumption over the last two years, and find we need a lot less stuff on a day to day basis. And our families have done the same. Shopping isn’t the priority it once was. And Christmas isn’t the gluttonous feeding frenzy of consumption of years past. I am having some things made in the US that we’ll pick up when we get there, but those are bespoke and are special gifts unlike any others.

Jeff just walked into the living room with our two favorite pillows.

‘What?’ he asked when I asked what he was doing with those. ‘I have room – why not?’

Why not, indeed? After my summertime DFW fiasco and his unplanned overnights in London and Chicago on his last trip, I might just advocate to include a comforter to round out our gear for potential flight delays. It will be 19 hours from the time we leave our apartment in Valencia until we touchdown in Seattle. We’ll just take it one hour at a time. But at least we’ll be together on this adventure, and by the time when we land it will start feeling like Christmas. 🎄🤶🏻🎁🥂

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